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Provided Hardware

The electronic information display consists of a network enabled computer connected to a large LCD monitor. The display is planned to be mounted on the wall, about 2 m above the floor, right across from the Engineering C&D in CPH.

The Monitor

The monitor is actually an LCD TV, model AT3220A? from Acer. It has a 32" wide (16:9 aspect ratio) LCD screen with a native resolution of 1366x768 at 60Hz. The monitor supports component, VGA, DVI, HDMI, composite and Cable inputs. For our purposes, we choose VGA over DVI as the DVI connector on the back of the monitor is not pin compatible with the connector on the computer. However this should not degrade picture quality by much.

The Computer

The computer is an AOpen MP915-B(S), a Mac Mini clone. The entire computer fits in a compact 16.5 x 16.5 x 5.1 cubic centimeters. The system is built around an Intel Pentium 4 Mobile processor, which is clocked at 1.7GHz. The system has a respectable 512MB system memory (RAM), although this is shared with the onboard Intel i915 graphics chipset. The machine supports usb 2.0 (2 ports), firewire (1 port) and gigabit ethernet (Realtek 8110 chipset). There is no hard drive installed.

Due to the lack of installed hardrives, the system will have to be booted from either a USB storage device or a CD-ROM (Live-CD). Booting from a USB attached storage device is more convenient in our case as it would leave the DVD drive avaibale for other purposes, for example DVD playback. Additionally, modifying a LiveCD to meet EngSocRequirements is a complex and time consuming task - the LiveCD would have to be rebuilt to implement the changes.

Theft Prevention

The current physical setup of the display separates the computer from the monitor in a way that it only exposes the LCD TV to possible theft. To minimize this risk of this happening, the monitor has been equiped with a steel mounting plate, bolted to the back of the monitor. The bolds were then welded to the plate. A similar mounting plate was affixed, in a similar fashion, to the wall where the display is intended to stay. The two mounting plates are joined by a 2 feet long, 1 1/2" diameter solid steel rod and locked in place by a heavy duty lock.

-- JanosMartonosi - 21 Nov 2006